2018-10-20 (Saturday)

Today, I learned that:

Continuing the post from 2018-09-29, here are two more interesting British facts from the world of Sports:

Wimbledon surrenders to John Isner

The American tennis player John Isner is, among other things, well known for having participated in the two longest fifth sets in the history of the Wimbledon tournament. In 2010, he beat the Frenchman Nicholas Mahut after winning the fifth set by 70-68, after three calendar days and 8 h 11 min of playing time. Then in this year’s tournament, in the semifinals, he lost to the South African player Kevin Anderson by 26-24 in the fifth set.

But that is the end of such marathon games, because as of 2019, Wimbledon has decided to introduce a tie-breaker at 12-12 in the fifth set.

See also references # 1 and 2 below.

Scotswoman breaks record for touring the world on a bicycle

In Britain, there are not only wonder women in golf. The Scottish cyclist Jenny Graham just arrived in Berlin after having gone on a tour around the world. You may remember that in the Jules Verne novel Around the World in Eighty days, her compatriot Phileas Fogg made it, using trains and steamer ships on 80 days. Jenny did not totally get there, but nevertheless her record is an amazing 124  days! (Another Brit, Mark Beaumont, holds the male record, set in September 2017, with 78 days 14 h 14 min., thus beating Phileas Fogg.)

Jenny Graham

Jenny Graham stops for a selfie while passing the Russian city of Pskov, close to the borders with Estonia and Latvia. Courtesy of Jenny Graham/The Adventure Syndicate/PA.

See also references # 3, 4, and 5 below.

Donkey steps

On various occasions, I have referenced material from Sveriges Radio (the Swedish Broadcasting Corporation), and here is yet another one:

Yesterday, their correspondent at the EU headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, Andreas Liljeheden, published a chronicle about the particular construction of the stair case between the two main buildings of the European Parliament. The following photo shows exactly that view.

EU steps

The court yard in the EU Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, highlighting the donkey steps between the two main buildings. Photo taken by Andreas Liljeheden on 2018-10-18.

As you can see, the vertical displacement from one step to another is small, but the horizontal one is much greater, exactly 1,16 m according to Andreas’ measurement. This makes walking up and down the stairs a complicated task. He investigated the origins of that crazy stair case, and found that in some countries of the European continent, such as Austria and Germany, there is a tradition of using deeper steps, whereas the Belgians and Dutch normally, due to the higher population density, have to settle with a different project, with a higher vertical-to-horizontal ratio. Sweden is, as always, “lagom”, i.e. mid-way.

Here are two more photos of donkey steps, the first one being a close-up of the EU Parliament steps, and the second one a typical scene of donkeys climbing the steps in Fira, the capital of the island of Santorini in the Greek Aegean Sea.

Belgium&Greece

Two examples of donkey steps: To the left, a visitor to the EU Parliament in Brussels, Belgium (photo by Andreas Liljeheden, 2018-10-18). To the right, real donkeys in Fira, Santorini, Greece (photo by Liz Stark, 2016-04-06).

But why is Andreas emphasising this stair case? In no way, he implies that hard working politicians are donkeys, but he thinks it is a symbol for the difficulties encountered by the EU members. If you cannot have a unanimous decision on something by all its 28 member countries (soon to be 27?), then there has to be a compromise, such is life! Thanks Andreas for your valuable contribution!

See also reference #6 below.

That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:

1: Longest tennis match records

2: Call It the John Isner Rule: Wimbledon Plans to Add a Final-Set Tiebreaker

3: Scottish cyclist smashes round-the world record

4: Around the World in Eighty Days

5: Around the world in 78 days: British cyclist completes record-breaking ride

6: Åsnetrappor typiskt för EU: Ekots Andreas Liljeheden, Bryssel

*: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-10-02 (Sunday)

Today, I learned that:

Once more, it is municipal election day in the pseudo democracy called Brazil. I say so, because voting is not only a right for Brazilian citizens, but also a duty! The result is obvious beforehand: A conservation of the ruling class, which has the financial means to control the situation. Everyone declared capable, aged from 18 to 70 years, must vote. Although there are some other democracies in the world where it is also mandatory to vote, what comes to my mind right now is Belgium, a country that stayed without a government during almost three years after a general election. My conviction is that elections should be open to everyone who is qualified to vote, but nobody should be obligated to do so! But since it is the proper politicians who must decide on such a measure which would go against their interests, unfortunately I do not see such a change coming ever.

titulos

Two opposite sides of the Brazilian society: To the left, the well-off citizen with all his titles and investment bonds, and to the right, the poor person, whose only right (and obligation!) is the document which identifies him as an elector. Drawn by Jean Galvão and published in Folha de S. Paulo today.

I feel very honored to have so many friends spread out all over the world, and when they travel they often send me pictures to show their destinations, and today is not at all different. My friend Barbara, who has lived in Sweden for decades, went back home to her native city, Świnoujście in Poland, last month for an important family celebration. And here you can see some of the pictures she sent me. Dzięki, Barbara!

Below are some more pictures from this sea-side city in the extreme north-west corner of Poland, bordering Germany and with a daily ferry to Ystad in Sweden. See also reference # 1 below.

swinoujscie
swinoujcie2

Six photos from Świnoujście, all taken by Barbara Sigurdsson in September, 2016. The main photo shows the post office to the left, and the two photos in landscape mode of the next front row show scenes from the seaside promenade. The leftmost one pictures the German town Ahlbeck in the distance and the second one is a typical one from this neighborhood. In the second row, to the left, is a former Soviet military base that now has been transformed into a civic center, including sports arena, theater, tax authority and a music school. The next photo shows typical residental buildings today, in bright contrast to the rightmost photo of a skyscraper built during the communist regime.

Last Friday, 2016-09-30, was International Translation Day. When I was a teenager, I did not know which career I would follow, since I liked both technology and languages. My uncle, who had a high position in Ericsson, advised me to study technology and include as many languages as possible in my curriculum. Of course, I followed his advice, and today I am proud to say that I am very fond of making translations, in particular those involving technology, in the language pairs SwedishEnglish, SwedishPortuguese, and EnglishPortuguese. If you need to have any document translated in those languages, or including Danish and Norwegian, contact me or my fellow translators of the Taskforce, see link in reference # 2 below, and click on the appropriate flag in the upper right corner.

Finally, if you live close to an airport and are disturbed by the noise of aircraft while arriving at the airport, here comes good news for you. A study performed at KTH in Stockholm, confirmed at Heathrow airport, shows that if the landing aircraft forms an angle of 3,5 degrees to the ground instead of the current 3 degrees, then the generated noise can be reduced by 2 decibel, which is quite a lot! See references #3 and 4 below.

… That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:

1: Świnoujście

2: Do you need to TRANSLATE DOCUMENTS between ENGLISH, PORTUGUESE and the SCANDINAVIAN (SWEDISH, DANISH, NORWEGIAN) languages? Contact “Byrån / The Taskforce” through this link !!!

3: Brantare landning minskar bullret

4: Slutrapport Förstudie Brantare

+: What did you learn in school today ?